I Lived Like Trump for a Day and It Almost Killed Me

There was lots of Diet Coke, McDonald's, golf, cable news, and feelings of utter despair.

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Dec 14 2017, 10:15pm

Elton John's "Rocket Man" had been stuck in my head for the better part of the day, and as the clock finally hit 3 PM, the lights in my brain began to burn out. I had been awake since 5:45 AM, watching Fox & Friends, flipping to Morning Joe during the commercial breaks, and as I opened my fourth Diet Coke of the day and dug into my McDonald's order—two Big Macs, two Filets-O-Fish, and a chocolate milkshake—I struggled to understand how anybody, never mind the literal president, manages to live like this.

Like Donald Trump, I'm a teetotaling New York native who loves McDonald's, has an alarmingly high caffeine intake, and maintains a codependent relationship with Twitter that hurts me just as much as it boosts my fragile ego. So when the New York Times came out with a report detailing his daily routine—including a lot of cable news and Diet Coke—I decided that this was my chance to get inside his head, or at least turn my head into a version of his.

But I quickly learned there were some key differences between us—for starters, I'm a fake news lib who voted for a commie Jew and then Shillary in the 2016 election cycle. And unlike Trump, I am not a morning person. In fact, I've found that getting a regular eight hours of sleep is vital to maintaining my sanity—but isn't becoming Trump about letting go of my sanity, acquiescing entirely to my id?

Here's the Times on his morning routine: "He flips to CNN for news, moves to Fox & Friends for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s Morning Joe because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day. Energized, infuriated—often a gumbo of both—Mr. Trump grabs his iPhone. Sometimes he tweets while propped on his pillow."

Other reports have suggested Trump has a penchant for robes, so I robed up, and did my best to be energized and/or infuriated by what I was watching on TV. While it was hard to drum up authentic outrage so early in the morning—for all the insane bullshit that Fox & Friends peddles, it is honestly pretty boring—I nevertheless accessed the anger burning within.

After all, I was pissed I had to be awake before sunrise. I was pissed I had to watch TV I didn't want to watch and do things I didn't feel like doing. What does Trump do when he feels constrained and annoyed? He tweets. So I did too:

Some of my many tweets from the day

Other notable elements of Trump's daily routine, according to the Times report: He drinks one dozen Diet Cokes per day. He makes his decisions based off "self-defense, obsession and impulse." He watches an obscene amount of cable news, often keeping his TV on and muted during meetings. He calls aides for Twitter affirmation. He calls White House chief of staff John Kelly up to 12 times a day "to ask about his schedule or seek policy advice."

I don't have aides or a chief of staff, but I figured I could approximate that other stuff. My first order of business was to start a feud on Twitter. That morning, Trump had tweeted a nasty message about "lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand," a New York Democrat who called for his resignation the day before. "[She] would come to my office 'begging' for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump," the president claimed, a sexism-tinged insult that was met with immediate condemnation from Democratic lawmakers and the fake news media.

So I paused the playlist I had created of Trump's favorite music, which includes Elton John's "Rocket Man" and Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It,” to call my editor Harry for his advice on who to start beef with. He offered up some suggestions, which I don't even remember because they were so dumb, but I hung up the phone with the realization that I had be authentic about whoever I chose to berate online. I focused my sights on Vox co-founder and noted lib Matt Yglesias. I haven't always agreed with Yglesias's political takes, but in true Trumpian fashion, my beef was personal.

Yglesias co-hosts a podcast for Vox called "The Weeds," and although he seems happy to chat with me about many things on Twitter, he has totally ignored my repeated pleas for an invite onto his weed podcast. After all, I love smoking weed, and I feel disrespected by the fact that my nice requests have been met with deafening silence.

Frustrated with a lack of response from Yglesias and the rest of the cowards at Vox, I realized that in order to feel like Trump, I had to tweet things that would actually get my followers mad at me. Being Donald Trump is about never acting but always reacting, always feeling like you're under attack. So I began responding to tweets I disagreed with with my honest and correct opinion, but still, no one was really getting mad at me. Fake news!

Bitter leftists make up a large subsection of my Twitter following, so I cracked open another Diet Coke and tweeted an unpopular opinion I knew would rile them up:

I ascribe to the idea that most liberals and leftists are well-meaning and agree on a broad range issues, but frequently butt heads due to what Freud calls “the narcissism of minor differences.” That explains why my relatively mild tweet enraged the Twitter communists, and soon my mentions were full of people angrily informing me that "liberalism is the left wing of fascism," condescendingly asking, "how much do you get paid for those opinions again, Eve?" and, most heartbreakingly, calling me a centrist.



Now it was time for McDonald's. Trump's penchant for the golden arches is frequently mocked by his critics, especially after Corey Lewandowski, his former campaign manager, revealed that his go-to order includes two Big Macs and two Filets-O-Fish, all of which he eats without the bun, and a chocolate milkshake.

I have the utmost respect for McDonald's, which I affectionately refer to simply as "Donald's," and eat an unhealthy amount of it, usually ordering fries and a bacon, egg, and cheese McGriddle. I enjoy sweet Donald's because it's cheap, is available for delivery on UberEats, and no matter where I am, I know exactly what I'm going to get. I was vexed by the media concern-trolling Trump about his McDonald's order and its massive calorie count, because it struck me as uppity and disingenuous.

But let me be clear about this: Donald Trump's Donald's order is a crime against humanity. I'd never tried a Filet-O-Fish because my brain isn't diseased enough to order fish from McDonald's, and it tasted bad, but the true abomination is eating a Big Mac without the bun. The Big Mac has three pieces of bread, and as I discovered when I disassembled the sandwich and took a bite, there is a very good reason why. A bite of two McDonald's beef patties drenched in Big Mac sauce with wilted lettuce and cheese has a grainy, soggy texture that makes the whole mess inedible. The chocolate milkshake, which Trump thinks is "malted" but is not, was the highlight of the meal.

UberEats had delivered my order almost an hour late, and while I was waiting for it, I had almost successfully deluded myself into thinking it would somehow revive me from my midday slump. But after consuming as much of it as I could, I felt even more dire. Dehydrated from only consuming Diet Coke—I was only four in—and exhausted from waking up so early, it was time for a nap, and yet, I couldn't sleep. Since Trump is a fan of phone calls, I caught up with my dad, but the phone call required me to think of someone other than myself, which felt dishonest to Trump's spirit, so I got off the phone after ten minutes to stare into the abyss of my Twitter feed and obsess over whether people liked me or not.

As I cracked open my fifth Diet Coke, I felt indignant. I never wanted to drink this repulsive liquid (which I used to like) again. I desperately needed water and to get offline for a couple hours. Indulge yourself, whispered the devil on my shoulder. Isn't being Trump about doing whatever the fuck you want? But I was firmly trapped in the misery of being Donald Trump: self-conscious, bloated, and refreshing my Twitter mentions with psychotic frequency to see who was mad at me now.

I was feeling so much, and yet I was so bored. For the president of the United States, Trump's daily itinerary is pretty uneventful. Cable news is a snooze, Twitter is less fun when you're not using it as a procrastination tool, and no one was picking up my phone calls except my dumbass editor and my fake news dad.

So I went golfing.

Photos by Caroline Tompkins and Andy Buchanan/AFP/GettyImages

In his short time as president, Trump has managed to sneak away for a golf getaway an astounding 79 times, according to trumpgolfcount.com. After the day I'd had, I began to understand why it was so necessary for him. His notable golfing buddies have included Tiger Woods, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, and Peyton Manning, so I invited my friend Sam Escobar, who is a big fan of mine.

So the thing is that it's December in New York, which is not golfing season, and also I have never played "regular" golf, so we played mini golf, which is fun even if you're bad at it. Not that I would know what it's like to be bad at something. In fact, I was very good at mini golf (good genes). But since Sam, who works for Condé Nast, kept score, the notion that I somehow "lost" the game is the biggest fake media scam I have ever heard in my life. As you can see in the score card below, Crooked Sam is the biggest fraud I have ever met and lied about their score to boost their own ratings. Very disloyal! Especially considering Sam begged me to pay for the whole thing.

"Fake News"

With seven Diet Cokes left to consume and a well-done steak I promised my editor I was going to make for the purposes of this article, I opted to end my day with more McDonald's—a sausage McMuffin and a glass of ice water—and skip out on the rest. Was it a cop-out? Perhaps. But if I learned anything from being Trump for a day, it's that I'm allowed to half-ass it, it doesn't matter who I end up disappointing because I can do whatever the fuck I want, and none of the haters and losers will ever stop me.

Follow Eve Peyser on Twitter.

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